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What is it like to do a residency in Kaiser’s HMO Setting?

Kaiser Permanente, unlike many other HMOs, is a nonprofit organization that combines the best aspects of a traditional university residency program with the diverse case mix, hands-on experience, and a positive learning environment of a community medical center.  Residents benefit from working closely with the faculty in our large medical group practice who enjoy clinical teaching. Kaiser Permanente protects physician decision making from the oversight and approval of insurance companies.  We are committed to the needs of our members and our social obligation to provide benefit for communities in which we operate, rather than by the needs of shareholders. Kaiser Permanente has been touted nationally as a leader in the electronic medical records movement and as a potential model for healthcare nationally.

Can I afford to live in Northern California?

As a highly desirable place to live and work, the Bay Area has always had a relatively high cost of living. Despite this challenge, our residents have thrived. Kaiser residents enjoy one of the highest salaries in the nation. In addition, our residency programs offer educational stipends and housing stipends. Our residents also receive educational book and meeting allowances, and are often offered free attendance to conferences and courses sponsored by Kaiser and other university programs. In most programs, meals are also covered while you’re on duty.

Where do KP Residents go after graduation?

The majority of our residents go on to clinical practice.  More than 60% of our residents stay with KP after graduation. All of our residents who have elected to do a subspecialty fellowship have successfully matched. Visit the Life After Residency section in each program to read more about where our residents have gone.

What fellowship opportunities are available?

Kaiser Permanente Northern California offers fellowships in Cardiology, Patient Safety, and Pediatric HBS. In addition, Delivery Science is a fellowship offered through Division of Research. Please visit our Fellowships page for more information on these programs and how to apply.

What research opportunities are available?

Residents are required to complete research projects and/or published case reports prior to graduation.  We have abundant resources available for assistance with the Kaiser system, including the Division of Research, the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute, the Multimedia Department and the Department of Medical Editing.

Research projects vary from individual projects to collaborative efforts with other residents or staff physicians, as well as opportunities for presentations at medical society meetings and various annual research symposiums. You can view our extensive lists of research projects and publications on individual program pages under Research.

Does KPNC Residency Programs accept foreign medical graduates?

We will accept applications from any accredited medical school. In an extremely competitive environment, we select candidates for interview based on the merits of their application.

How stable is Kaiser Permanente?

As a leader in Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente Northern California is fiscally solvent, and has been growing for more than 50 years. Kaiser Permanente Northern California is comprised of three organizations in close partnership: The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG), the non-profit Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and non-profit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.  Kaiser Permanente has medical centers and offices nationwide, including California, Hawaii, Colorado, District of Colombia, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia and Washington.  California, Northern and Southern, is the largest of the Kaiser Permanente organizations, and currently the only regions with residency training. Kaiser remains strong and maintains it’s commitment to provide high-quality, effective care to our patients and the communities we serve.

In the Kaiser setting, are residents afforded autonomy to make clinical decisions?

Residents and attendings are not limited in the way they practice. The health care provider decides which tests, medicines, and referrals are appropriate. Because Kaiser Permanente is an integrated system of care, physicians do not need to spend precious time seeking authorization from insurance companies. Insurance coverage and billing is left to others, while practicing medicine is left to you.

How do I apply?

Please visit our How to Apply page for more information.

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